Chalk this up in part to teachers union seniority clause - Keldon Clegg, the AV WTP instructor who led them to Nationals last year, was let go after last year because he was low man on seniority totem pole. That's brillant. AV's long run of success at WTP competition may be over.....
Posted by Been There, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Feb 13, 2012 at 7:35 am
This was one of the best programs going. Both of my kids benefited tremendously from this program. It is such a shame. What in the world is wrong with us that we let good teachers go and keep lousy ones? What successful organization does something like that?
Posted by WTP Alum, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Feb 13, 2012 at 8:23 am
Hey NO WTP FUN,
It is no way the union's fault. Mr. Clegg LEFT the team. He had a guaranteed job, but fled to Berkeley High instead.
Mr. Weaver stepped in when no teacher wanted to do it. He made major sacrifices this year. He is first teacher who with children at home to run the class. In a year of uncertainty, he kept the program afloat. Instead of blaming teachers, why don't we celebrate them instead?
And what does that say about Mr. Detamore? He put in countless hours as well and did an amazing job with his class. I have seen both schools in action and both made major strides this year.
Posted by pusd, a member of the Pleasanton Middle School community, on Feb 13, 2012 at 9:33 am
Mr Clegg is a remarkable leader of teenagers, but not the only one in this district. Mr Clegg resigned and accepted another position. It was a career move he chose. Please do not undermine the positive work by the teachers still within the district who sacrifice so much of their personal life for our kids. And while we are at it, a special thank you to the administrators who work just as hard, give up personal lives, and live under a political microscope for every decision made, many of which are out of their control. They need our support, not our criticism. If you have a real concern then voice it appropriately, not in some obscure slanderous blog.
Posted by molly, a resident of the Del Prado neighborhood, on Feb 13, 2012 at 9:52 am
I agree with the comments commending both schools' students AND teachers. Does anyone consider that perhaps during this year's competition, there were other teams who performed stronger? Why does everyone in this town always assume we have to be the BEST? It was a competition, and presumably other schools competed better this time. I know some of the students who were on the FHS team, and they are top tier kids who have been accepted into top tier colleges; no dummies on that team! Let's agree to say 'job well done' and call it a day.
Posted by Scott Walsh, a resident of the Pleasanton Valley neighborhood, on Feb 13, 2012 at 10:33 am
Whenever you point your finger at someone, remmember that their may be three fingers on that same hand pointing at YOU. The district is where it si at because parents "leave" it to others to sort things out. God forbid they ever sacrifice "their" precious time and get "involved". It seems we have lots of accusers, complainers, sideliners and the "like" but few who get involved. Good communication trumps Union and Management issues but communication and compromise are the least kind of qualities I see these days on any level. One other thing; I wish to congratulate Cheryl Cook-Kalio whose team that she mentors at Irvington High in Fremont placed third in the State. A Pleasanton resident and TEACHER who consistently has her team right up there in the top tier on both the State and National Levels. Pleasanton should be proud of her contiributions and accomplishments with regard to WTP Programs. Now start attacking me for my views.
Posted by Cheryl Cook-Kallio, a resident of the Jensen Tract neighborhood, on Feb 13, 2012 at 12:21 pm
All the teams that participated should be congratulated on their hard work. California is the toughest of finals, often the top 4 or 5 places separated only by a handful of points after, in this case 12 rounds. Each unit from all schools is judged by the same set of judges. There are six units and those points are added for the final score.
The students spend countless hours, after school and on weekends, learning to apply constitutional principles. The coaches and volunteers involved often do the same. Sam Weaver from Amador and Jeremy Detamore from Foothill worked themselves to the bone to give these students this opportunity. They have given Pleasanton a gift from which we will all benefit.
My assistant coach, Susan Piekarski, was on the 1999 WTP team at Amador with my son, Nathan. I would like to quote a portion of her speech a few years ago when she was named WTP Alumnus of the Year at the state finals. It is so true and that is why all the coaches involved are willing to spend the time. teaching this is pure joy because you see students learning for the sake of learning. Try and make it to the end. It is worth it.
"What you will learn from We the People hasnít happened yet and it
cannot happen until you loose. Until you loose, this program is an
academic exercise. It isnít until the structure of the program, your
classroom, and your unit are gone that you figure out what youíve
learned and who you have become. When you loose you will have to put
the philosophy you have developed into practice.
America requires nothing, but expects everything. Your successes and
failures are in no oneís hands but your own. The United States is a
plural society; seemingly contradictory beliefs can be seen on equal
footing, which means it is up to you too choose your path.. .
ďI think ambition is good. I think overreaching is good.Ē And when
youíre wrong ďjust be wrong. Just stand there in your wrongness and be
wrong and get used to it!Ē because in the life of every thing that is
right and works, there was a time when it was wrong and didnít.
Since We the People, I have learned that those from the other schools
in this room are not competitors, but rather, will be the only ones
that understand what you're talking about in the dorms next year. As a
freshman, I counted alumni from Irvington, Foothill, and Centennial as
Since We the People I have learned that advice from my parents is just
that, ultimately the decision to be a lawyer or teacher was mine.
Since We the People, I have learned, that most failures in life arenít
because an opportunity didnít present itself, itís because most people
are too afraid to say yes when it does.
Since We the People, Iíve learned that, happiness isnít found in
money, itís found in being of service to others.
Since We the People Iíve learned to plan for the future, but to live
my life in the present moment because it is all I can control.
In this world, you have control over no one else. All you have
control over are your choices, which is at the same time very scary
and yet very empowering. In your life, someone will fail you. It may
be your girlfriend, your parents, your teachers, or your government.
But one day youíll wake up and feel like youíve stepped off the edge
of the world. You will be tested. . .
A leader without any followers is just a guy talking. Decisions are
Posted by Successes, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Feb 13, 2012 at 1:22 pm
Well said Molly! I think it is a shame to place blame somewhere. The students are lucky to have had two wonderful teachers step up to lead them on their adventure. I am sure even though they didn't place in the top 2, the students learned valuable lessons and hopefully had fun along the way. Someone has to lose. That is what happens in competitions and games. Just because the teams "lost" doesn't mean that there wasn't quality teaching/mentoring/leading coming from the teachers.
I wish the teacher bashing would stop. If a person doesn't like how the teachers in this district are performing, then teach your own children. If you think you can do a better job than the teachers in the district, then become one! Otherwise quit complaining!
Posted by in the know..., a resident of Livermore, on Feb 13, 2012 at 6:22 pm
The program is not about placing, but what the students learn, and the skills they acquire. Ask each and every one of them and they will tell you that they have acquired incredible amount of knowledge and skills that will take them very far in life. They have had a very unique opportunity to be be part of a special program and the students on the WTP teams from AVHS and FHS should be very proud and they, as well as all the teachers and community members should be celebrated for the fantastic job. Congratulations to students and faculty for another very successful year. (Success is not measured in your place, but by what you will take with you for the rest of your life!)
Also, Clegg CHOSE to leave Amador and it had nothing to do with cuts because he had a job, IF he chose to come back, thus any reference to him should be permanently dropped from this link.)
Posted by Teacher Too, a resident of the Vineyard Hills neighborhood, on Feb 13, 2012 at 8:06 pm
This confirms what I feel is happening in Pleasanton. Some parents are teaching their children if they don't WIN, they are losers. But worst yet, it they do lose, it is not any fault of their own or simply that the other team was better prepared. The fault must lie with the coaches, judges, refs, or teachers. Both teachers and all of the students should be proud considering the academic talent in the state of California. Just being in Comp Civics is an accomplishment. Those students are so dedicated, and I would guess they aren't blaming their teachers or teammates, so why should you?
Posted by discouraged teacher, a member of the Foothill High School community, on Feb 14, 2012 at 12:27 pm
Through these forums I have learned that the teachers are to blame when scores are low, or results are not perfect, and at the same time they have absolutely nothing to do with the high levels of achievement or successes of their students. Such criticism is very discouraging.
Posted by Look it up, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Feb 14, 2012 at 7:04 pm
Stop picking on others unless you are sure:
Lose vs Loose
A lot of people are mixing up lose and loose. In particular, a lot of people are writing loose when they really mean lose. Here are the definitions of the two words from my Penguin dictionary:
loose [lOOs] adj not fastened or pre-packed; not tied up or confined; able to move freely; not tight, not firmly fixed; not close-fitting; careless, inaccurate, vague; dissolute, immoral; not closely woven; flabby; (of bowels) inclined to diarrhoea; l. box stable or van in which an animal can move about; at a l. end uncertain what to do next; unoccupied ~ loose adv in a loose way; play fast and l. behave rashly or unscupulously ~ loose n release; on the l. free from restraint; on a spree; ~ loose v/t untie, undo; release from confinement or constraint, set free; detatch; fire (gun); shoot (arrow); (eccles) absolve.
lose (p/t and p/part lost) [lOOz] v/t and i no longer have; be deprived of by accident or misfortune; mislay, fail to find; fail to get or win; be too late for; be bereaved of; waste; be defeated or beaten; suffer loss, become worse off; fail to hear, see or understand; cause or allow to perish; (of clock or watch) go too slowly; (refl) miss the right path; become absorbed in; l. one's head become flustered, panic; l. one's temper grow angry; l. one's way fail to find the right path; l. out (US) be defeated after a struggle.
This knot is too loose.
Please do not lose my book.
I had better not lose that file.
One way to remember the difference between the two words is to think that "lose has lost an 'o'".